PHMSA Publishes Editorial Corrections and Clarifications Rule

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule today that incorporates a host of minor amendments to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). The “RRR” designation in the final rule description indicates that the rule was developed under the Retrospective Regulatory Review initiative that was imposed on regulatory agencies through Executive Order 13563, which identifies and considers regulatory approaches that reduce burden by amending existing rules that are excessively burdensome or outdated. While the amendments in this rule are rather mundane, there may be clarification important to some readers. Among other provisions, PHMSA revised various entries in the Hazardous Materials Table and corresponding special provisions, clarified various sections and corrected conversion factors and paragraph numbering.

The following is a summary of the changes:

Section 107.202 – This section describes the standards in 49 U.S.C. 5125 for determining preemption of a state, local, or Indian tribe requirement applicable to the transportation of hazardous materials. This section was amended in response to the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” Act (MAP-21), which added the words “other written hazardous materials transportation incident reporting involving State or local emergency responders in the initial response to the incident.” PHMSA considers the revised wording in MAP-21 as an editorial change and therefore made the change to this section for consistency.

Section 171.8 – Section 171.8 provides definitions and abbreviations used throughout the HMR. PHMSA made two revisions to this section. The spelling of “Containership” was amended to read “Container ship.” The last sentence of the definition for “Hazardous material” reads in part, “and materials that meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and divisions in part 173 of subchapter C of this chapter.” For clarification and consistency with other sections in the HMR, PHMSA revised the sentence to read “and materials that meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and divisions in part 173 of this subchapter.”

Section 172.101 – This section contains the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) and explanatory text for each of the columns in the HMT. In the HM-215K final rule published on January 19, 2011, PHMSA revised the § 172.101(c)(10)(i) instruction for the proper shipping name description of a mixture or a solution of a single predominant hazardous material under certain conditions. Currently, § 172.101(c)(10)(ii) states that if one or more of the conditions in § 172.101(c)(10)(i) is satisfied, a proper shipping name shall be selected as prescribed in § 172.101(c)(12)(ii). For clarification, PHMSA corrected the citation so that the sentence reads “that if one or more of the conditions in § 172.101(c)(10)(i)(A) through(F) is satisfied, the proper shipping name selection process in § 172.101(c)(12)(ii) must be used.”

HMT – In the HMT, Special Provision B37 was erroneously applied to Column (7) for the Packing Group I entry of “Cyanide solutions, n.o.s.,” UN1935. Special Provision B37 once applied to “Nitric oxide, compressed,” but does not address or apply to cyanide solutions. This is corrected.

Special Provisions Section 172.102 – Special Provisions B37, B50, B60, and N72 were removed.

Section 172.204 – This section prescribes requirements for the shipper’s certification. In paragraph (a)(2), the spelling of the word “labelled” was revised to read “labeled.”

Section 172.514 – Two errors were addressed in this section, which prescribes the placarding requirements for a bulk packaging containing a hazardous material. The wording “white square-on-point” was revised for consistency with the identification number marking requirements under § 172.332. An editorial and punctuation correction was made at the end of the sentence to return the paragraph (c) exceptions to an “and” clause. The intent is that if any of the five conditions specified in paragraph (c) are satisfied, the labeling alternative to placarding is authorized. This should now be clear.

Section 173.12 – This section prescribes the exceptions for the shipment of waste materials. In paragraphs (b)(2)(ii)(B) and (b)(2)(ii)(C), the unit conversions of 3 mils and 6 mils to inches were corrected.

Section 173.35 – This section prescribes the requirements for hazardous materials in intermediate bulk containers (IBCs). Subparagraphs that were mistakenly added to paragraph (g) are reinserted into paragraph (h).

Section 173.134 – This section prescribes the definitions and exceptions for Class 6, Division 6.2 hazardous materials. In § 173.134, the paragraph numbering addressing transitional provisions was corrected.

Section 173.159a – This section prescribes the exceptions for non-spillable batteries. The introductory text for § 173.159a(c) is clarified to indicate that the exception from the packaging requirements in § 173.159 does not include an exception from the vibration and pressure differential tests in § 173.159(f) for determination of a wet battery as non-spillable.

Section 173.319 – This section prescribes the requirements for cryogenic liquids in tank cars. Paragraph (a)(3) was revised to update the email address and telephone number for the shipper to contact the Federal Railroad Administration whenever a tank car containing any flammable cryogenic liquid is not received by the consignee within 20 days from the date of shipment.

Section 174.435 – This section contains the table of A1 and A2 values for radionuclides. The printing error for “Sm–147” was corrected. Specifically, in the seventh column for specific activity in TBq/g, the value “8.5 × 10-1” was changed to read “8.5 × 10-10.”

Section 175.702 – This section specifies the separation distance requirements for packages containing Class 7 (radioactive) materials in cargo aircraft. In the first column of the § 175.702(a)(2)(ii) table heading, a typographical error was corrected by revising “of predesignated area” to read “or predesignated area.”

Section 178.46 – This section prescribes requirements for Specification 3AL seamless aluminum cylinders. Paragraph (k) addresses the duties of the inspector. In § 178.46(k)(2), the reference to performance or verification of ultrasonic inspection requirements is corrected from paragraph “(c)” to read “(b)(5).”

Section 178.70 – This section specifies procedures for the approval of United Nations (UN) pressure receptacles. In paragraph (e)(5), an incorrect reference is revised to read “§ 178.71.”

Section 178.503 – This section prescribes requirements for the marking of non-bulk performance-oriented packagings.  The paragraph numbering was corrected.

Section 178.601 – This section prescribes the general requirements for the testing of non-bulk packagings and packages. The term “different packaging” is defined in paragraph (c)(4). Paragraph (c)(4)(v) of the definition excludes packagings which differ only in a lesser design height from the category of a “different packaging.”  PHMSA revised the paragraph to link the exclusion to the authorized packaging variations that allow a packaging to be manufactured at a lesser design height by adding a reference to the variations in paragraph (g)(3) for single packaging, and to (g)(4) for combination packaging.

Appendix B to Part 179 – Appendix B to Part 179 prescribes procedures for simulated pool and torch-fire testing. Paragraphs 2.a.(1) and 3.a.(1) are revised by correcting an erroneous mathematical calculation. This correction should improve compliance by clarifying the conversion factors.

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